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Redemption in politics is the progression of an individual or entity from a negative public image, brought on by an actual or perceived transgression, to a renewed positive status among that individual’s peers. The payment for that renewed standing may by overt act, finance, and/or intellectual/emotional discharge.

Redemption implies a lesser state prior to its invocation, and the greater state afterwards.

Redemption in 21st century politics

While the need for redemption has plagued ruling bodies since the first days of civilization required a structured tribe, the twenty-first century has seen the required exercise of this act on an almost daily basis, in every government worldwide, without exception. The higher state, that of “innocence”, integrity or good faith, exists prior to the transgression. The lesser state for an elected official is inevitably the result of a perceived wrongdoing against the electorate or its value systems.

A politician or political entity with the liability of this lesser state will often attempt redemption, the restoration or deliverance to the previous higher state, via an act of public cleansing or atonement. Often, when the repentance is interpreted by the public as incomplete or insincere – ie, not enough visible emotional involvement, not enough familial or peer support, or the blatant refusal to say “This will not happen again” -- this single performance may burgeon into multiple or serial media phenomena, each appearance featuring an evolving, purposely self-deprecating public statement of misconduct.

The less comfortable, more lengthy process of political redemption is known as the prison term.

See also


Author: Jim Gabour